not the poorest jew in america anymore

Merry Christmas dear reader. Not one to complain, I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. Up until lately it’s been a rough year. And I didn’t have any brilliant insights on politics that I had to express.

Now the good news. Remember I told you about my weekend gig, where I was artistically frustrated and the sax player I worked for was keeping all the tips for himself. Now the hotel is under new management and they are good. They fired the sax player and hired me.

They made me audition since I had stopped singing on the gig (it only made more tip money for the leader).

It was really great that about twenty friends and supporters showed up to give me a warm friendly audience.

I now own the room on the weekends. This week they gave me four nights. I can play and sing whatever I want, and keep all the tips.

What’s really helped lately are my students. They’ve kept me off food stamps and given me an outlet for a different kind of creativity other that playing and writing. I’m teaching at a music store and I’ve also started my own School of Jazz where I give workshops.

Sometimes students only take one or two lessons then quit. I don’t mind, but the ones that stay are very gratifying.

The other day I was given a new student. The young man wanted to learn to play the piano well enough to play a difficult piece by Franz Liszt. That was cool. I asked if he worked or went to school, he told me he was a Veteran of the Marine Corps and he was living on disability for PTSD. Readers know how I feel about Marines. They are the most awesome Americans.

And now it’s Christmas and the Marine will take the holidays off. He said he’ll do another lesson in two weeks, if he decides to continue.

I’ve been looking forward to getting in on that volunteer work that gives one such a good feeling. But I was just barely getting by and it made no sense to over extend myself. Now with the teaching and the steady gig I can be like all you folks who get that thrill from doing good works. And of course the people I want to help (if they need it) are men like my student.

I am pissed at myself for not finding out more about his situation. Does he have friends and family in town? Most of our returning members of the Armed Forces have good families and many friends. It’s the ones who don’t that I am most anxious to try and help. As well as our aging Vietnam Vets who are alone. The ones who served in Iraq and Afghanistan probably need jobs and some assistance. There are many fine organizations that help Vets find jobs and also give out assistance to help keep our beloved Veterans in their homes. I will call over very soon to the excellent Veterans Hospital in my town and sign up to work with one of them.

All Is Well with your old pal Word-Drum,

God Bless Us All.

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